Montessori Kindergarten? A year! What is the value?
Montessori is an education for life. It gives the children the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to succeed in life, find their inner selves and develop the joy of learning. Montessori empowers children to become independent learners with a deep sense of confidence and high self-esteem.
I would like to share a story that really highlighted the value of the three-year cycle in the primary classroom and how the child needed the third year to come out of her shell, mature, blossom and thrive.
One of my dear students walked into my classroom 3 years ago as a young 3-year-old. She was a very bright girl with great potential, but she was extremely shy, very hesitant to work and interact with her teachers and most importantly had a very hard time transitioning and letting go of her parents in the morning. She spent the first year and a half adjusting to the morning transition, the routine of the classroom, the work flow and expectations. She very rarely spoke or expressed her needs to her teachers independently without being prompted. Her enrichment year (2nd year) was better but she still had trouble letting go in the morning and remained shy and a bit hesitant to approach new situations.
Now, as a Montessori kindergarten student, she has blossomed over the course of 4 months. She became an independent learner, highly motivated by the work in the classroom. She walks in proudly every morning with a big smile on her face greeting her teachers and friends. She had become the leader of the whole class; helping out and giving lessons to her fellow students. She shines during our monthly Senior Center visits. She approaches strangers with great confidence, introduces herself then sits and reads a book aloud with expressions and without any hesitations. She expresses herself very clearly and assertively. She is an avid reader and a magnificent worker!
I truly believe that the Montessori environment allowed her to reach her fullest potential and flourish. Now she can explore any environment and thrive because she has developed a solid and unshakable foundation both academically and socially. One of the greatest moments that I witnessed with her, was watching her saying goodbye to her mom during Parents Observation Week. She assertively told her Mom that her time was up and her observation was done and that she could go. It was priceless! This is the moment that every teacher looks for and prays to achieve! Seeing the transformation that children can achieve within these 3 years is remarkable.
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